Monday, December 01, 2008

Guilty Pleasures

I have a confession to make. This past weekend I spent with my family for Thanksgiving and as a part of that, we made a group run to the video store. On the sale rack was something unexpected... unexpected because I forgot it was being made -- Starship Troopers 3: Marauder. I mentioned in a previous entry that I really dig Paul Verhoven as a director and I really enjoyed the original Starship Troopers -- it's brilliant satire, I had read the book in college and Verhoven really gave a great spin to the story. I'd be lying if I said the other big reason I enjoyed the movie was the hotness of Casper Van Dien.

I described this as a guilty pleasure because Starship Troopers 2 was only slightly better than Sarah Palin's Katie Couric interview, and coincidentally, did not feature my beloved Casper, nor did Verhoven direct. Verhoven didn't direct this one either, but this one included Casper, so, for $3.99, I decided to take a chance and hope that there would be gratuitous shots of near-naked Van Dien. I was rewarded for my faith.

Not only were there beef shots of Casper, there was some other tasty flesh in there as well, if you're willing to put up with some unimpressive breasts. In my estimation, the quality of beef far outweighed the price.

Aside from the beef factor, overall, this one was definitely better than the second -- Edward Neumeier, who wrote all three screenplays and directed this one, went back to the political and social satire that worked so well in the original, and was missing from the second. Neumeier isn't as adept at it as Verhoven is, but the decision to make the ham handed use of religion as a political and social tool the underlying theme of the film is quite timely and amusing. Including a music video of a uber-patriotic song created for the film called "It's A Good Day to Die" is brilliant. The scary thing is that it's not too far off the mark from what you'd find in your standard pro-military music videos that have come on the scene since 9/11.

So on balance, for $3.99, it wasn't a bad buy. There's definitely beef, though not as much as I'd like. The film is watchable, though not something I'd watch too terribly often. Still, I can't get enough of nearly naked Casper, so this is one guilty pleasure I just can't hide.

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